I’ve got a Smurf loose in the house.
Which isn’t good news for me because I really, really hate Smurfs.
The reason for the appearance of the Smurf, complete, I might add, with blue hair, white shoes and a perkily irritating little hat, is Halloween.
Back in the day, Halloween was something teenagers celebrated because it meant pound coins and the odd Mars bar.
Groups of gangly, acne ridden yooves would gaggle together for a regular evening of riding their bikes up and down near the shops and trying to light their roll-ups in the autumnal drizzle when suddenly, Gazza or Shazza or someone would pipe up with the information that it was, in fact, Halloween tonight.
And, with no clear idea what was expected of them, other obviously than what they had picked up from watching Scooby Doo after school every day, off they would set to mumble ‘Trick or Treat’ at unsuspecting door-opening homeowners who, because of the whole ‘unsuspecting’ thing, were busy watching The Two Ronnies and frankly, the treat cupboard was not just bare, it was entirely non-existent.
I’m telling you, Halloween could be pretty lucrative (just call me Shazza) – money was all that the punters, sorry, homeowners, had handy and, confronted with a gang of menacing teenagers on a damp, dark October night (in the days before porch lights) it was one step away from traditionally sanctioned muggery.
Flash forward twenty-five years and my, what a difference a couple of decades makes, not only have we all got porch lights, Halloween has become an actual thing.
Apparently nowadays, it’s the orange version of Christmas, check out aisles 3, 4 and 5 in Asda if you don’t believe me.
Punters, as punters often do, have wised up. The sneaky home dwellers have come up with a hybrid version of the ‘Neighborhood-Watch-No-Cold-Callers-Please’ campaign.
If they are Halloween Friendly, they put a pumpkin in their window, and they no longer have to throw money at the problem, they come prepared with a bumper bag of Haribo that they picked up from aisle 3.
If they are Halloween Unfriendly, they extinguish all of the exterior lights, close the curtains (those that don’t usually have curtains have been known to fashion window blankets out of duvet covers) and spend the 31st watching TV in the rear of their home.
There are only two exceptions to this general rule of thumb: Enthusiastic old people, and the Super-Yummy-Mummy.
The old folk and the Super-Yummy lose their freaking minds and have lights, decorations, three-hundred and twenty five pumpkins all carved with the delicacy of a Michelangelo sculpture, cookies, cakes, scary music, costumes, cobwebs and hand-made Belgian chocolates to hand out.
The oldies go to this trouble because they’re trying to dispel the myth that old people, fo’real actually do keep bats, make their knives and forks out of carved human bones, and seriously do sit down with them
on a Sunday to munch on the children’s brains that they keep in jars in the pantry.
The old woman in Hansel and Gretel has been a PR disaster on an epic scale for retired couples with neat gardens, and so, with the fear that Halloween could, for them become a torch brandishing villagey fiasco, they go all out to demonstrate how candy-baking and child friendly they really are.
The Yummies on the other hand, they do it because, well, why waste an opportunity to feel smugtastic.
Anyway, I have to go; I have pumpkins to savage with a Smurf.
The fun never ends but on the upside, I still have Christmas to look forward to.